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 Post subject: Optical audio and coaxial video vs rca - D703
PostPosted: 15 Dec 2018, 04:26 
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I can't find this topic specifically.
If I have the cables, are the optical out and the coaxial video out better options than regular rca cables for left/right audio and video?

Oops, I guess the optical or coaxial are both audio. Is one better than the other for audio over using the L/R rca jack?
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 Post subject: Re: Optical audio and coaxial video vs rca - D703
PostPosted: 15 Dec 2018, 05:28 
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Just the Red and White RCA only.
Unless you need AC-3 I don't know if that player has that but then you need a decoder.
Also if you are doing the Digital then you need to have that connected also, unless you don't plan to use DTS or listen to the Digital tracks that aren't going
through your analog RCAs.
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 Post subject: Re: Optical audio and coaxial video vs rca - D703
PostPosted: 15 Dec 2018, 08:13 
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dbbarney wrote:

Oops, I guess the optical or coaxial are both audio. Is one better than the other for audio over using the L/R rca jack?


Optical and Coaxial are basically the same in that they are defined as S/PDIF outputs (Sony / Philips Digital Interface) that deliver digital data. When they were first invented, they carried PCM digital audio data from CD players as an option to use an outboard D/A converter for improved sound quality. As time went on, the S/PDIF standard added bitstream data capabilites for Dolby Digital (but not on LD as it's encoded differently) and DTS.

As for whether optical or coaxial is better or worse, these days they are basically the same now. However, back in the day, there was a preference by some for using coaxial digital because they supposedly had less "jitter" than optical that caused timing errors that muddied the sound (since that time, optical as well as coaxial has improved w/ jitter reducing circuitry to reduce the errors). In addition, the reason that some preferred optical over coaxial was the reduction of possible GND loop noise as the optical cable did not require grounding like a coax cable would.

Finally, would using the optical/coaxial digital out be better or worse than using L/R outputs directly? Well, that depends on what machine has the better D/A converter (the D/A converter in the player that feeds the L/R output or the D/A converter being fed a digital connection from the player and decoded back to analog outside of the player). In most cases, you should get better sound using the digital output since in most cases you would be sending it to a better D/A converter. However, that may not always be the case due to subjective perceptions of how we like the sound of a particular device. For example, I have a Pioneer, CLD-3030 that utilizes a 4x oversampling, 16 bit dual D/A converters (one for each channel). I personally think this player has a warmer sound w/ tighter bass coming out of the L/R output vs. listening to the sound on the optical out and having my Denon AV Receiver decode the audio. It doesn't mean that either sounds worse or better; it just sounds different. In addition, I will say that later Pioneer LD players starting from the CLD-3090 sound worse on their built in D/A converters since that was the time many companies were trying to reduce the cost of multi bit converters and switching to 1bit DLC which was much cheaper to produce. Thus, I prefer to usually listen to these players on the digital out and using a modern day AV Receiver to decode the audio.

So I guess that's it. No real easy answer but hope you understand it better now.
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 Post subject: Re: Optical audio and coaxial video vs rca - D703
PostPosted: 15 Dec 2018, 17:29 
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You can use the digital outs and have a cleaner signal to give to your receiver. However LD players often have better DACs than some receiver so it’s optional. Technically most receivers now do fancy digital approximations of surround separations which may work slightly better if they are handed a digital signal. As has been said, coax and TOSLINK (optical) are the same. Just use whatever you can.

Keep in mind that in the world of LD you often need access to both the LDs analog and digital soundtracks which you can hear both of over the analog outs (red and white) by switching between them on the remote but the digital out can only transmit the LD’s Digital sound so most of us have two inputs on our receiver for LD. If you have an AC-3 deck when it’s three inputs.
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 Post subject: Re: Optical audio and coaxial video vs rca - D703
PostPosted: 15 Dec 2018, 17:43 
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Thank you!

Finally, could I damage anything by having both optical and L/R hooked to my receiver at the same time? I noticed that some laserdiscs are DTS and a lot are not.
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 Post subject: Re: Optical audio and coaxial video vs rca - D703
PostPosted: 15 Dec 2018, 18:03 
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Nope
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 Post subject: Re: Optical audio and coaxial video vs rca - D703
PostPosted: 15 Dec 2018, 18:10 
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It'd be silly if they did.

Although I've been curious about something. I've seen a lot of receivers provide multiple audio inputs under the same label, ie. something like RCA L/R, digital coaxial AND optical all under "DVD" which presumably means that changing the receiver to that input will simply receive all of them. Since I would imagine it'd be a bit of a mess if it tried to output the sound from all the sources at the same time, is it up to the source itself then? My player has RCA out only, but if I had digital out as well, how does it determine which output it's using?
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 Post subject: Re: Optical audio and coaxial video vs rca - D703
PostPosted: 15 Dec 2018, 19:01 
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Possibly but the older one that I had you could select Analog or Digital for the audio, I don't believe it gave both only one option but you had to select or there
was an automatic setting but for LD that didn't work out.

This was about 10 years ago and I do remember having to connect both with DVD as well, since some older or possibly bootleg DVDs didn't work correctly with the audio?? But I have a difference amp now and don't use the Toslink or AC3
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 Post subject: Re: Optical audio and coaxial video vs rca - D703
PostPosted: 15 Dec 2018, 21:36 
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takeshi666 wrote:
It'd be silly if they did.

Although I've been curious about something. I've seen a lot of receivers provide multiple audio inputs under the same label, ie. something like RCA L/R, digital coaxial AND optical all under "DVD" which presumably means that changing the receiver to that input will simply receive all of them. Since I would imagine it'd be a bit of a mess if it tried to output the sound from all the sources at the same time, is it up to the source itself then? My player has RCA out only, but if I had digital out as well, how does it determine which output it's using?


On my Harmon Kardon you can set the input source separately from the video source so you can have any audio input on any source. You can do this manually or you can have it auto poll with a preference for digital. I do it manually because the logic of why I may want one input or another is never going to make sense to a robot but basically if Video 1 is an LD player you use that input’s analog inputs plus Coax 1 or Optical 1. Then if you put in Speed it will pick the digital out. If you put in Discovison Jaws there is no digital so it will switch to the analog. The problem is that if you want to hear commentary or whatever on the analogs and that disc has digital sound it won’t let you use the analog until you turn off the auto polling so I just leave it off.
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 Post subject: Re: Optical audio and coaxial video vs rca - D703
PostPosted: 16 Dec 2018, 02:13 
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That makes sense.

Also Harman Kardon always makes me think of Haman Karn.
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 Post subject: Re: Optical audio and coaxial video vs rca - D703
PostPosted: 16 Dec 2018, 07:22 
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rein-o wrote:
Possibly but the older one that I had you could select Analog or Digital for the audio, I don't believe it gave both only one option but you had to select or there was an automatic setting but for LD that didn't work out.


If we're talking about AV Receivers that use to incorporate an AC3-RF input, most of them were designed to work w/ auto switching on three sets of audio connections on the LD input (AC3-RF, S/PDIF digital, and analog). My old Sony, STR-DE915 would work in this fashion flawlessly and really made input switching very easy.

Unfortunately, FF to today and the feature is now limited to auto switching between one analog and one digital input because there is no need for switching two digital inputs since all current source components can output all the different audio codecs through a single digital connection (wouldn’t be surprised that we lose analog inputs on future AV Receivers as we move further anyway from analog sources).

As for trying to make it easier today to switch different audio inputs for LD playback, my current solution as I documented here.....

Dual LD player Home Theater with PCM, AC3, & DTS capability

..... works great for me. :thumbup:


Last edited by ldfan on 19 Mar 2019, 04:54, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Optical audio and coaxial video vs rca - D703
PostPosted: 16 Dec 2018, 16:11 
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No, mine didn't have AC-3 it was after AC-3 still had auto etc.
But as Zeta above says its best to select which one you want.
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 Post subject: Re: Optical audio and coaxial video vs rca - D703
PostPosted: 16 Dec 2018, 16:56 
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For AC-3 (or any external surround procressor) mine uses 8 line level inputs at the “multi channel” input, so really it’s another analog output and it would always pick the digital anyway.


Harmon Karden always makes me think “why are there two power buttons?” I finally found a replacement remote on eBay and I’m sorta thrilled. I’ve had this receiver for five years using a Logitech that can’t do half the functions, like Power for example.
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